Specialty Food Magazine

MAR 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 34 of 63

NATURAL SELECTIONS concern," she says of those giving up meat, "but it's the icing on the cake for a lot of people who care about the humane treatment of animals and how factory farming impacts the environment." Tallmadge, a Washington, D.C.–based nutritionist, has seen continuous interest in vegetarianism over the years while also track- ing a slight ebb and flow in popularity. "Ten or 15 years ago there was a huge interest in the Atkins diet, so people went back to eating more meat," she says. "Americans love the quick fix, the easy answer, whatever happens to be the fad of the moment. Right now, because [former President] Bill Clinton and other celebrities are saying they're vegan, some people are doing it based on that, as well as being influenced by what their friends are doing." "There's a big difference between fads and trends," argues Lisa DIFFTF!T USB XT!!0!!XJOF!CJTDVJU T!!0!!DPPLJFT Protter, president and co-founder of Organic Nectars, sofi™ Gold Winner in 2009 in the Outstanding USDA-Certified Organic Product category for Pistachio Raw Agave Gelato, and a sofi Silver Finalist in 2008 for Chocagave Raw Cacao Dessert Syrup in the Outstanding Dessert or Dessert Topping category. "Fads are here today and gone tomorrow. When we first started our company in 2005 we weren't sure, but now in talking to retailers, being vegetar- ian is a solid trend. It's not going away anytime soon." "There is definitely an increase in vegetarian, organic, sustain- Do You Butternut? ably produced snacks," says Tami Fertig, an associate editor at Vegetarian Times magazine who handles new products. "I've noticed a lot of healthy takes on classics like potato chips and corn chips, with companies making lentil chips and black-bean chips instead, which have a similar taste and are higher in protein and fiber." (Editor's note: Read more about the growing alternative-chip cat- egory on p. 42.) Raw snack bars and kale chips are another category experiencing an upsurge, she adds. "Most of the vegetarian snack options on the rise are in the bar category," says Scott Owen, grocery merchandiser for PCC Natural Markets in Seattle. "From a nutritional standpoint, it makes sense as vegetarians and vegans tend to want to make their calories count." Sales of vegetarian snack bars, such as Lärabar, are up 11 percent over last year, he says, while the raw category is up more than 25 percent overall. Fertig has noticed a number of new items being marketed as gelatin-free. (Gelatin is derived from collagen inside "Right now, because President Clinton and animals' skin and bones.) "Anything containing gelatin would be off-limits for [vegans], but now you can get vegan marshmallows, s'mores and Rice Krispie–like treats." 32 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com other celebrities are saying they're vegan, some people are doing it based on that as well as being influenced by what their friends are doing."

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